Can't use Face ID to login to Monzo app


I can’t use Face ID to login to the Monzo app.

Every time I try to login (via the Monzo app), I have to enter my email address and pin.

I’ve tried to enable Face ID authentication in the settings menu, but it doesn’t seem to verify (see image)? The spinning circle (to the right of “Face ID for authentication”) stays spinning for 15 minutes (before I decided to close down the app).

I’ve recently updated to iOS 14.5, and have deleted and re-installed the Monzo app (a few times), but the issue remains.

I guess this is just a bug? Has anyone else experienced this issue?

FYI: The “Requires Face ID for unlock” function works fine, as do other banking apps which I’ve enabled Face ID to logon. Face ID on my phone works fine on my phone (ie I have no issuing unlocking my phone using Face ID), so this appears this is a specific Monzo app issue I’m experiencing.

Hi. Welcome.

If you’re entering your email, that means you’ve fully logged out, which you don’t need to do. I think at that stage it requires the pin for security reasons.

Just close the app and if you have the privacy enabled, then the next time you try to open the app, it will use FaceID.

Thanks for your response.

What is the purpose of the two options (Face ID for authentication and Requires Face ID to unlock)?
In my testing, “Requires Face ID to unlock” is used for authentication when you’ve closed down the app (ie you’ve swiped the app away in the app switcher). If you leave this option disabled, you get logged straight into your account (no authentication needed!), which seems a tad unsecure?

It seems strange that the Monzo app works differently to the other banking apps (that I’ve used). These “other banking apps I’ve used” auto log you out of the app after a period of inactivity, and you must log back into your account in order to gain access to it.

It’s to verify that you’re okay with a purchase usually, the new 3DS rules require you to verify in the app for a lot of merchants.

It’s still secure, I couldn’t transfer any funds out of your account for example, without your pin. It’s just not private. I have added the requirement to login, some people don’t bother.

If you tick the box to require you to be logged in, then it will mirror that of other banking apps to get into.

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I don’t think it’s that different to other banking apps (that I’ve seen)

Both Barclays and Amex ask for a pin/password or for FaceID when I launch the app after swiping it away. I never press a log out button which I guess would require more thorough reauthentification

Same for Monzo. If you don’t press the log out button, you can just open the app and it’s up to you if you want to use FaceID or just get in straightaway

Basically what I’m getting at is you’re not logging out of those other apps either, you’re just closing them. So when you do log out of the Monzo app, it’s natural that it asks for extra bits of security

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Thanks for your responses.

ndrw, have you tried to log back into your Barclay & Amex account after you’ve pressed the “sign out” button within the app? When you did log back-in, did you use biometrics (ie face ID/Touch ID) for authentication or did you have to use pins/emails etc?

For the banks I’ve used (Natwest, NAB), both banks (regardless of whether you’ve closed the app in the app switcher or signed out of the app) asks for biometric authentication to login. Perhaps it’s a case of “every bank does something different”…

We can use face-ID authentication normally - is it fully working on your iPhone X/XS/11/12?

Yes, Face ID is fully working. I use Face ID to unlock my phone, the two previously mentioned banking apps (verified to be working correctly), app purchases and contactless purchases (again both verified to be working correctly).

This is how I understand it:

  • Face ID for authentication relates to 3DS authentication I believe
  • Require Face ID for unlock relates to starting the app, or restoring it from the background.

Regular banking apps will auto-logout (sometimes with a 5 minute delay) when you close the app, swipe away or use Home button (or whatever based on your phone/OS), meaning you must always re-login using either the login credentials, or Face ID/PIN (if active), if you go back to the app.

Monzo does not log you out unless you specifically go to that option, so if you swipe to another app etc, you remain logged in and you are able to return to the Monzo app immediately. By switching on the Require Face ID for unlock, this means you must pass that verification before that happens, which seems similar to the way other banking apps behave.

I have my phone locked by PIN but do not have the Monzo app authentication active, so this means if I can get past my phone PIN I can run Monzo and immediately see my account. I don’t need to use any extra verification to access my Monzo account, and have not logged out of the app for quite some time (more than a few months).

So, I would suggest you need to switch on the 2nd option only, and also not log out of the app using the logout option, just swipe it away. This will emulate how “regular” banking apps work.

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Thanks for your response. This is exactly my experience. I wonder why Monzo doesn’t auto logout like the other banks? I guess Monzo has decided to do things differently…

For what it’s worth, I managed to find an article explaining what both “Face ID for authentication” and “Require Face ID for unlock” do. The article is linked here:

Thanks, will do!

That being said, it seems like the “Face ID for authentication” option isn’t working correctly for me. The spinning circle as seen in the first image in the first post remains. Fortunately, the “Requires Face ID to unlock” option works fine.

I don’t know the reason for that. Perhaps it’s related to your recent upgrade to iOS 14.5 or that and a combination with the phone model? Unfortunately I’m on Android so can’t check if it’s an issue, but hopefully someone else will be able to do so.

I can turn Face ID for authentication on/off on 14.5 with no issues.

Are you actually trying to authenticate? Or just turn the option on?

Trying to turn the option on.

This is what happens when I try to turn it on:

  • I get a screen providing a brief description about this option
  • I get prompted for my 4 digit passcode
  • Once passcode is entered, I return back to the settings screen (see first image) with the spinning circle which never disappears.

Raise a chat then, I am on the iOS beta and last night installed 14.6 beta version and works perfectly for me

Thanks, will do. Good to know that both you and Revels were able to turn this option on and off. Looks like there is a specific issue with my account.

Thanks to all who responded in this thread. Much appreciated! I’ll provide an update once I’ve had a chance to speak to online chat.

I would try the usual dance first.

Uninstall the app, restart your phone, install the app again. That will probably be what they suggest and after that, it’s going to be unlikely they’ll solve it.

Small update; the online chat suggested the same items as per Revels post. No change.

Decided to just leave it be, and try again in a few days.

A few days on, I’ve tried again and it the “Face ID for authentication” option is now enabled. No idea why it wasn’t working earlier, but it’s now working fine for me.


All we can do is :man_shrugging: i’m afraid. Glad it’s working now though